Monthly Archives

April 2019

Bi-Weekly Recap: April 22, 2019

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Dear Trustees: It’s hard to believe that with all of the gorgeous weather we’ve had recently, that the last “bomb cyclone” snowpocalypse hit Denver in one last (!) gasp of snowy winter within the period of this bi-weekly update! The WESTAF office was closed April 10-11 due to horrendous driving conditions, and thanks to email, slack, etc., team members again did a great job of coordinating WFH schedules, maintaining customer support and keeping the business of WESTAF up and running in spite of the elements. Hopefully that’s the last of it and now summer is well and truly here! I am writing to you as I head to Washington, DC with colleague Leah Horn for meet ‘n’ greet meetings with NEA, AFTA and NASAA, then on to Burlington, VT to join chair Erin Graham and fellow RAO’ers for the annual Regional Arts Organization meeting and retreat. I look forward to reflecting upon this busy week in my next bi-weekly update. In the meantime, here’s the latest: Board Admin Updates Some modest but necessary updates have been made to our password protected WESTAF trustee site, with board books now posted back to 2017, updated contact info, current bylaws, the latest financial…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: April 8, 2019

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Hello WESTAF Board of Trustees: Thanks for all the positive feedback for these Bi-Weekly Recaps. As always, your questions and responses are warmly welcomed and much appreciated. We are busy at WESTAF and love the work we’re doing! Thank you for your stewardship. May 15-16 Bozeman BOT Meeting We’re in the process of fleshing out the agenda for the BOT meeting on May 16 in Bozeman, MT and in determining guests to invite to our working dinner on the evening of May 15. Thanks to trustee and treasurer Cyndy Andrus for helping us with this, and thank you for working with our team to book your travel and accommodations in a timely manner! Director of Public Policy Search So far, we have received around 20 resumes and cover letters for this position, and we’re pleased overall with the quality and experience of the candidates. We are aiming for a pool of 5-7 diverse, qualified candidates from which to make a final selection. Once we have identified this pool, we’ll set up an “interview loop” with each leadership team member owning a specific competency that we’re looking for in the candidate — communications, public policy experience, arts and culture experience and…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: March 25, 2019

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Hello again Board of Trustees: Lots of good things happening at WESTAF — here’s a bi-weekly summary of activity. Thank you as always for your good work with WESTAF! Director of Public Policy On 3/22, we released the Director of Public Policy posting and job description. We sent the posting out via email to various WESTAF stakeholder groups (hopefully you received an email), on WESTAF social media channels and on some arts-related job posting sites. Our target date for identifying a successful candidate is 7/26. We’ll keep you posted on progress. You should have already received this notification in email form through Constant Contact – did you? Thank you for sharing out on your networks, and do let us know if you have any questions about the interview/hiring process or the position itself. BAR CAT The leadership team is now operationalizing the BAR CAT model in deadlined phases: finalizing team titles and roles, re-writing director-level job descriptions and postings into set templates and reviewing team structure, through May. The leadership team’s (almost) finalized roles and titles to which we’ll be gradually transitioning over the next several months:   LEADERSHIP Executive Director   Christian Gaines   BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Director of Business…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: March 11, 2019

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  Greetings WESTAF Board of Trustees: Trust you all made it back safely from the BOT meeting in Salt Lake City. Thanks again for making the journey and participating so fully in the whirlwind of activity! I really loved it and I learn a lot. Welcome Victoria Bourns We’re thrilled to welcome Vicki Bourns, Director of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, on to the WESTAF Board of Trustees, effective immediately. Welcome, Vicki — we’re so glad to have you! Public Art Archive Mentioned in TIME Magazine Some of you might have seen the “Chiseled young Abraham Lincoln Statue” story sweep through your social media feeds — about the statue of a shirtless Abraham Lincoln at the Los Angeles federal courthouse about which the internet couldn’t seem to get enough (!). What you might not have noticed immediately was that the TIME Magazine story about it referenced WESTAF’s very own Public Art Archive. Go, PAA! State Arts Agencies Making some headway introducing myself to each SAA ED and my “acquaintance index” score has climbed from 37/65 to 42/65 in the last two weeks, which is progress! Had a really pleasant and productive meet ‘n’ greet calls with Jaime Dempsey…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: February 22, 2019

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Greetings WESTAF Board of Trustees: Hello again from Denver! Here’s a brief bi-weekly update before we head to Utah next week for our first meeting of 2019. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again! Hopefully, you have all received your Board Book by now — thank you to Samantha Ortega for her great work putting this together. Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions at all about our time together in Salt Lake City. State Arts Agencies I was able to reach out to each of our thirteen member state arts agencies (SAAs) this week. I did this with a broad message of greetings and introduction as well as individual notes to each Executive Director, inviting a telephone call and an in-person visit over the next 2-3 months. I’ve had some good responses and some encouraging back-and-forth. I had a great meet ‘n’ greet lunch with Margaret Hunt (Colorado) last week and I have calls set up with Jaime Dempsey (Arizona) and Ann Bown-Crawford (California), Jenice Gharib (interim, New Mexico) with others pending. I am “scoring” myself with each ED from 0 (have not met them, am not really familiar with the unique issues or…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: February 11, 2019

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Greetings WESTAF Board of Trustees: Hello again! Checking in with a brief bi-weekly update after my second fortnight at WESTAF and it’s been fun, exciting, a little overwhelming but always action-packed: Onboarding More valuable onboarding sessions happened these past few weeks for me, including an IMTour session and a series of sessions with Anthony, where we went over how WESTAF works with the state arts agencies in the West; how WESTAF works with the national arts service organizations; how WESTAF works with the National Endowment for the arts (NEA) and how WESTAF works with private foundation and non-government entities, among many other topics. All really helpful, and supplemented by accompanying briefing notes to assist in the learning. Formal onboarding concluded the week of February 1. Strategic Plan — Visit by BOT Leadership The Chair and Vice Chair visited the WESTAF office from 2/5 – 2/6 (during a major snowstorm!) and we dived into an ambitious schedule intended to set the agenda for my leadership from a BOT perspective, and set a course with myself and the WESTAF team on how to begin addressing and operationalizing the strategic plan, set priorities, etc. This time also included a small reception in the…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: January 25, 2019

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Greetings WESTAF Board of Trustees: Hope this message finds you well and happy. I thought I would check in with you after my first two weeks on the job here at WESTAF to offer a very brief update on how things are going. Onboarding As you probably know, I am about two thirds of the way through a rigorous WESTAF Onboarding process. In the past two weeks, I have had immersive meetings generally comprised of history, overviews and discussions around most of the major WESTAF products and services. Since January 14, we’ve covered General WESTAF Operations, Budget Management, Multicultural Programs, Communication, Marketing and Professional Development Programs, ZAPP, CaFE, Public Art Archive, GO, YouJudgeIt and Creative Vitality Suite. Next week from 1/28 – 2/1 I’ll be covering IMTour and engaging in a series of meetings with Anthony to zero in on WESTAF’s work with State Arts Agencies, Regional Arts Organizations, the NEA, NASAA, AFTA, private foundations and NGOs. By Friday, 2/1 I will have graduated from WESTAF Academy with my diploma, and I’ll be ready to dive in! At every step I have been impressed with the level of care and preparation that has gone into this onboarding process. For example,…

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